I received a Facebook notice this morning that one of the brands I was following – Samyang Optics – had changed its name to "Next77 Global."
I'm not quite sure what's behind the name change, but I'll keep an eye out for any press releases on the matter.
Just posted: Sigma 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM Art Lens Review.
Kudos to Sigma for bringing us a groundbreaking f/2 full frame zoom lens!
Amusements parks, carnivals, fairs, and similar are popular summer attractions. The next time you visit such attractions, be sure to take your camera gear (including a tripod) and ... make sure that you stay until the lights come on. To be more "attractive", amusement rides are typically well-lit at night and these rides (along with other signage) can make colorful images.
The first step: before you leave home, make sure that you know the park's rules for photography. The bigger the park, carnival, etc., the more likely that your activity will fall under regulation. The Ferris wheel shown here was captured at Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg, PA (America's largest free-admission park). This park requires permission for "Professional Photography".
Also before you go, scope out potential opportunities using the park's map, satellite imagery and photos found online. Look for colorful rides that move significantly and have lots of lights on the moving portions of the ride. While motionless lights can be attractive in images (especially if out of focus), moving lights can be made to cover much more of the frame, replacing dark sky with bright light. Spinning rides often work well, but roller coasters often do not.
A perfect night photography ride example is the big Ferris wheel at Knoebels. The park has recently installed a new LED lighting system that displays constantly changing colors as the big wheel spins. The ride looks impressive and attracts many spectators in addition to riders.
Though it has excellent image quality, my choice to use the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L Lens for this image was foremost for the ultra-wide focal lengths. Because of the many obstructions around (notably, trees), I wanted to be as close to the ride as possible and also wanted the close, looking-up perspective. This position also helped avoid people (the spectators I mentioned) in the frame (and the model release complication they could potentially add).
There are many options for photographing amusement parks in the dark (or just before dark), but I like to fill a significant amount of the frame with light. In this particular case, I liked having the entire wheel in the frame while shooting (I was over 11 hours into my commercial shoot and had gone to bed at 3:00 AM that morning, so I can't argue that my decision making ability was not slightly clouded at the time). During post processing, I decided that I liked the wheel cropped tighter, showing even more color in the frame and making the support structure larger in the frame. That the 5Ds R has such extreme resolution enabled me to crop significantly into the frame and still have a high resolution image remaining (roughly 22 megapixels). And, I still have the full size image available if wanted at a later time.
Camera exposure settings for lights moving in the dark are often determined by aperture and ISO. That was the case here. Since the lights in the middle of the wheel are not moving as fast as the outermost lights, there is an overall exposure balance required. The LED lights were very bright and ISO 100 with an f/11 aperture worked well in this case (I reduced the brightness somewhat in post processing). I adjusted the shutter speed (in manual mode) to capture the complete movement between wheel spokes without overlap (which would cause overexposure), generating a complete circle of light that, with the changing lights, resembles a pinwheel.
Dark park photography will test your visualization ability, but it is great fun to anticipate and view the results. It is not hard to create attractive blurs of light at these venues. Give after-dark amusement park photography a go! It shouldn't be hard to entertain the kids while you do.
The Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM Lens Review page is loaded with my expectations for this lens along with comparison charts and other information.
Canon's MTF chart foretells exceptional optical performance. An MTF comparison between the version I and II lenses is included in the preview.
The image accompanying this post shows an approximate size comparison between the older Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM Lens (on the right) and the new 35 L II. Obviously, the new lens is modestly larger.
From Canon UK:
United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, 27th August 2015 – As Official Sponsor of Rugby World Cup 2015, Canon is giving customers the chance to win one of 50 pairs of tickets when they buy a selected Canon product. Lucky winners will receive a pair of tickets to attend a Rugby World Cup 2015 match held at one of 13 venues around England and Wales.
With Canon’s starting line-up of products, including the EOS 7D Mark II, EOS 750D and PowerShot G7 X, customers can get closer to the action to capture those all-important sporting moments.
Plus they will also receive a free Gilbert Official Rugby World Cup 2015 Replica Ball with every selected product purchased.
The offer runs from 20th August 2015 until 31st October 2015 for eligible products purchased from UK or Republic of Ireland retailers. Terms and conditions apply.
From MindShift Gear:
The Industrial Designers Society of America named our sister outdoor company MindShift Gear’s rotation180° Panorama Backpack a winner of the Silver IDEA Award. The rotation180° Panorama was selected from among more than 1,700 projects entered from around the globe in 20 categories.
“When we look at a design, we’re not just looking at what’s trendy or fashionable at the moment. We have the context of a long line of designers that came before us,” said IDEA Award Chair Matthew Marzynski, IDSA. “That collective knowledge exists within IDSA, kind of like a living treasure.”
New IDSA Board of Directors Chair, John Barratt—a former IDEA Jury Chair—calls the competition “the authority on design” and says IDEA jurying is “the most rigorous and thoughtful” in the world.
The rotation180° Panorama is the first rotating day hiker backpack. Designed for hikers who carry cameras, binoculars, GPS devices, nature identification books, maps, tablets, and more, the rotation180° Panorama’s beltpack rotates to the front for quick gear access without first having to take off the backpack, or even stop hiking.
MindShift Gear backpacks are available from www.mindshiftgear.com and other leading outdoor and photography retailers.
Today, we’re excited to announce that — in addition to square posts — you can now share photos and videos in both portrait and landscape orientation on Instagram.
Square format has been and always will be part of who we are. That said, the visual story you’re trying to tell should always come first, and we want to make it simple and fun for you to share moments just the way you want to. It turns out that nearly one in five photos or videos people post aren’t in the square format, and we know that it hasn’t been easy to share this type of content on Instagram: friends get cut out of group shots, the subject of your video feels cramped and you can’t capture the Golden Gate Bridge from end to end. Now, when choosing a photo or video, you can tap the format icon to adjust the orientation to portrait or landscape instead of square.
Once you share the photo, the full-sized version of it will appear to all of your followers in feed in a beautiful, natural way. To keep the clean feel of your profile grid, your post will appear there as a center-cropped square.
We continue to be inspired by the creativity and diversity of the Instagram community, and we can’t wait to see what you create next.
To learn more about the changes in today’s update, check out the Instagram Help Center.
From the Canon USA YouTube Channel:
Watch this sample video captured with the powerful and portable Canon EOS M3 interchangeable lens camera.
From Canon Professional Services:
Canon Professional Services will be on site at the Tennis Center providing support for photographers covering the 2015 US Open. All photographers must hold valid credentials issued by the event’s organizers in order to gain entry.
Our Canon factory service technicians will provide complimentary Clean & Check service on Canon EOS DSLR cameras and Canon EF/EF-S lenses. Clean & Check service is limited to (2) items per photographer and is provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Same day service is not guaranteed.
Daily equipment evaluation loans will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Pro Market representatives will be available to answer technical questions and offer product demonstrations.
The Canon CPS support area will be located in the Photographers Lounge of the East Media section within the main Media Center situated in the southwest corner of Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Media Center in Arthur Ashe Stadium
USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
Flushing Meadows Corona Park Rd
Flushing, NY 11368
Dates and Hours of CPS Operations:
Monday, August 31th through Friday, September 11th from 9:00am to 5:00pm.
Schedule during the Semi-finals on Saturday, September 12th and Sunday, September 13th to be determined and will be posted on site.
(All times indicated are local time and schedule/content subject to change without prior notice)
Canon Professional Services (CPS)
Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Preorders are now live for all the newly announced gear:
Canon EOS M3 Mirrorless Digital Camera
Canon EOS M3 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 18-55mm Lens
Canon EOS M3 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 18-55mm and 55-200mm Lenses
Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens
Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM Lens
By the way, you might want to check out the MTF chart for the new 35L II – it's impressive!
Below you can see the 35L on the left and the 35L II on the right.
From Canon USA:
MELVILLE, N.Y, August 27, 2015 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced that its parent company, Canon Inc., has developed Blue Spectrum Refractive (BR), a new optical element for use in camera lenses that corrects chromatic aberrations at an extremely high level to achieve superb imaging performance.
The new Canon-developed BR optical element offers characteristics that significantly refract blue light, which lies within the short-wavelength range, to achieve impressive levels of chromatic aberration correction for outstanding imaging performance. The BR optical element, positioned between two glass lens elements to create a BR lens, will make its debut in the new EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM wide-angle fixed-focal-length lens, which is scheduled to go on sale in October 2015.
Canon develops optical elements by reviewing organic optical materials, beginning with the design of molecular structures, with the aim of achieving optimal chromatic aberration correction that suppresses color fringing. With the successful development of the BR optical element, which offers unique light-dispersion characteristics that significantly refract blue light—a wavelength that, until now, had proven particularly difficult to converge to a specific focal point—Canon is able to develop lenses that result in outstanding imaging performance by correcting chromatic aberrations at an exceptionally high level.
From Canon USA:
New L-Series Lens is First to Feature Canon’s Proprietary Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics – That Achieves a Higher Level of Chromatic Aberration Correction For Superb Image Quality
MELVILLE, N.Y., August 27, 2015 – Canon U.S.A., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today introduced the new EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens for EOS system cameras – a wide-angle fixed-focal-length Canon EF lens that is the world’s first* to utilize the Company’s newly-developed and exclusive Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics (BR Optics). This new optical technology utilizes organic material newly developed by Canon to achieve a higher level of chromatic aberration correction than other existing technologies resulting in outstanding high-quality imaging performance.
“As the world leader in production of interchangeable lenses, having produced over 110 million EF lenses since 1987, it is with great excitement that we now introduce a revolutionary new technology to add to Canon’s unequaled optical heritage when it comes to chromatic aberration correction,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO of Canon U.S.A., Inc. “We continually strive to achieve the ideal lens performance, which has driven the development of Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics, found in the new EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens. This technology is yet another ‘first’ in optical design introduced by Canon to enhance the performance of our lenses for our customers.”
Canon’s proprietary Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics (BR Optics) incorporate a new organic optical material with unique anomalous dispersion characteristics for use in camera lenses. The molecular design of BR Optics refracts blue light (short wavelength spectrum) to a greater degree than other existing optical technologies including UD glass, Super UD glass and Fluorite, to control color fringing as effectively as possible. When placed between convex and concave lens elements made from conventional optical glass materials, BR Optics help to produce sharp images with outstanding contrast and color fidelity by thoroughly reducing axial chromatic aberration.
In addition to BR Optics, the new lens incorporates two aspherical elements and one UD glass element in a 14 element, 11 group optical formula. The EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens also features Canon’s proprietary Sub-Wavelength Structure Coating (SWC), applied to the rear surface of the first and second aspheric lens elements to help combat flare and ghosting caused by light rays entering the lens at a large angle of incidence. The lens also offers best in class minimum focusing distance at 0.28m (approximately 11 inches) resulting in an increased maximum magnification of 0.21x - ideal for capturing close-up subjects. Autofocusing is swift and virtually silent due to a rear-focus optical system and Canon’s original Ring USM focusing motor. Full-time mechanical manual focusing is also available even when the lens is set to AF mode.
The Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens features improved durability over its predecessor. As with all L-series lenses, this new lens is highly resistant to dust and water – making it ideal for outdoor photography, even in harsh conditions. The high-grade design of the lens provides users with a substantial and luxurious feel, as well as optimal operability. In addition, a fluorine coating on the front and rear lens surfaces helps to repel liquids and dust particles, and makes the lens easier to clean.
Pricing and Availability
The new Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens is compatible with 72mm filters and will be supplied with Lens Hood EW-77B and Lens Pouch LP1219. It is scheduled to be available in October 2015, for an estimated retail price of $1,799.00.
From Canon USA:
The Power and Versatility of an EOS Camera in a New Light
MELVILLE, N.Y., August 27, 2015 - Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced the EOS M3, a compact and stylish interchangeable lens digital camera created for enthusiast photographers who demand premium performance. Fusing Canon’s outstanding image quality and DSLR-levels of control in a small and lightweight camera body, the EOS M3 camera offers the ability to capture important moments in outstanding detail.
At the heart of the EOS M3 camera is Canon’s latest and most advanced digital imaging technologies, including the company’s high-resolution 24.2 megapixel APS-C CMOS image sensor and its most advanced image processor, DIGIC 6, delivering premium quality stills and Full HD videos. Combined with super-fast AF performance, thanks to a new 49-point Hybrid CMOS AF III Autofocus System, this digital camera gives photographers the freedom to capture the beauty of movement. Advanced photographers will find everything they need at their fingertips, with intuitive DSLR-like dials and control, as well as access to the entire lineup of more than 80 Canon EF, EF-S and EF-M interchangeable lenses*, all shrunk down into a compact, mirrorless body to take with them wherever they go. Advanced EOS camera technologies built into the EOS M3 camera include:
“Canon U.S.A. is bringing to market a new member of the EOS family - the EOS M3 - to help satisfy the market’s demand for high-quality compact cameras with large image sensors and interchangeable lenses,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “It is the ideal camera for advanced amateurs and enthusiasts looking for a compact interchangeable lens camera option with genuine EOS camera system support, performance and compatibility, as well as professional photographers looking for a full-featured compact secondary camera.”
Photographers familiar with other Canon EOS cameras will note the EOS M3’s interface is similar to Canon’s current EOS DSLR cameras, making operation easier for existing users. The LCD panel’s tilting capability makes it easy to shoot from various angles while the capacitive touch screen allows intuitive image capture and playback with easy-to-understand information and real-time controls.
The EOS M3 camera offers photographers the flexibility to unleash their creativity through its compatibility with Canon EF-M lenses as well as a wide variety of Canon EF and EF-S lenses when used with the optional Mount Adapter EF-EOS M. Other compatible Canon accessories include EX-series Speedlite flash units, Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT, and Electronic Viewfinder EVF-DC1. Users will also have the ability to remotely capture and share images with Canon’s Camera Connect smartphone application**, using the EOS M3’s integrated Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity.
Pricing and Availability
Canon’s EOS M3 Digital Camera is scheduled to be available in early October 2015 for an estimated retail price of $679.99. An EOS M3 EF-M 18-55mm IS STM lens kit will be available in the customer’s choice of black or white for an estimated retail price of $799.99. Additionally, a two lens kit featuring the EOS M3 digital camera with the EF-M 18-55mm IS STM lens and the EF-M 55-200mm IS STM lens will be available for an estimated retail price of $1,049.00.
The following Canon lenses will also be available in early October:
B&H has the following available for preorder:
Time after time, I am in position to photograph the sunset with many other photographers and observers around me. It is (usually) lots of fun talking to those nearby, but ... as soon as the sun goes behind the horizon, most people pack up and leave.
Last week, the same thing was happening as I was bayside in Seaside Park, NJ. Right after the sun disappeared, a friendly photographer came over and asked if I got "it" while showing me his favorite pic of the setting sun. I replied that I did, but indicated that the main show was likely still to come. He said that he liked to see the sun's reflection best. My thought was that his preference is fine, that we are all different, that I too like the sun's reflection and that I was still expecting the best yet to come.
Fortunately, this gentleman had enough question about my opinion vs. his that he stuck around. Fifteen minutes was all that was needed. The color in the sky was very impressive on this evening and Barnegat Bay was very calm. About 25 minutes after the sun set, the other photographer returned very excited. Upon a quick review of his website the next day, I found only one picture from that evening. One captured well after the sun had set.
Unless I am shooting landscape that the setting sun is directly lighting, I am usually more found of my post-sunset images. This image was my favorite from the night (though I have many close runners-up).
This is an HDR image, comprised of three exposures used to balance the overall brightness of the final image.
While an f/2 max aperture lens invites many uses in addition to landscape photography, the focal length range of the Sigma 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM Art Lens is great for this use. Since the Sigma 24-35mm f/2 Art Lens was what I was evaluating at the time, I put it to use for my sunset session. It performed excellently.